Author Topic: House Pests/Bugs - Exterminator or DIY?  (Read 972 times)

lefty

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House Pests/Bugs - Exterminator or DIY?
« on: December 27, 2018, 08:16:02 AM »
I have a little townhouse that is squashed between 2 neighbors. Been having some uninvited guests like earwigs, ants and others which I am unable to identify show up from time to time.

I'm looking for the most effective solution so I don't have to keep doing this over and over again.
Neighbors tell me these are to be expected in SoCal. Well, I'd like to do something about it if I can.

Any suggestions?

YttriumNitrate

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Re: House Pests/Bugs - Exterminator or DIY?
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2018, 08:37:00 AM »
In my experience, the same pesticides* are generally available to both the pros and the DIY crowd. The deciding factor as to whether to hire someone is really just whether or not you are willing to spend the time diagnosing the problem and coming up with a solution.

*Same active ingredient in similar applied concentration equals same pesticide in my opinion.

draco44

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Re: House Pests/Bugs - Exterminator or DIY?
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2018, 10:39:26 PM »
Thankfully ants and earwigs aren't usually pests that require a "heavy-duty" approach (like termites or bedbugs, e.g.), and it's true that virtually any home will get an occasional insect inside it.  Honestly, those two aren't insects I would worry about much.  That said, if they are present at levels that bother you, step one is to see if you can tighten the barrier between the inside and outside of your house, such as by replacing or adding weather stripping at the bottom of your door, and being sure windows are in good repair.  Step two is to make the inside of your home less attractive to your pests.  Earwigs tend to be attracted to areas that are damp or have water sources, while food residues are generally the biggest draw for ants. So look into reducing those attractants if they may be an issue.  For ants specifically, I recommend Terro liquid ant baits.  Those are basically the gold standard for homeowner ant treatment.  If you've never used them before, be aware that the way baits work isn't an immediate knock-down.  What happens is that worker ants gather bits of the liquid bait from the trap thinking it's good food, then take it back to their colony and feed it to their sisters in the nest, hopefully including the queen ant. In a few days, all the ants that ate the bait die.  This means, however, that you'll initially get a rush of ants swarming the bait, and may worry that you've made your ant problem worse.  Don't freak out while that is happening. You need all of those scout ants to take food back to the colony, or you'll never get to the root of what's causing your ant problem.

lefty

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Re: House Pests/Bugs - Exterminator or DIY?
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2018, 07:57:45 AM »
Wow, thanks a bunch.

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lefty

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Re: House Pests/Bugs - Exterminator or DIY?
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2018, 08:51:59 AM »
I'm assuming termites and bedbugs require an exterminator. What about other pests like silver fish and friends?

Oh I should have mentioned that I have a laminate floating floor. So there is a gap between the flooring and the edge of the wall. I'm not sure if I can caulk it or use weather stripping to seal it. Any suggestions on how to seal this?
« Last Edit: December 28, 2018, 09:04:45 AM by lefty »

frugaliknowit

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Re: House Pests/Bugs - Exterminator or DIY?
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2018, 12:54:06 PM »
No harm in trying boric acid.  It's completely non-toxic and CHEAP.  You should be able to get it at a hardware store.  Just strategically place it near cracks where you believe the rodents travel.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: House Pests/Bugs - Exterminator or DIY?
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2018, 02:30:12 PM »
You can also make your house a generally unpleasant environment with a unit that dispenses a small amount of insect spray every 10 minutes or so. Cheap at the supermarket.

BTW, the best and most instantly effective cure for ants I have found is a product called ant sand, which is sprinkled around the outside of the house. Ants have nests in gardens and come in from there.

Silverfish like damp wood or old carpet. Get rid of those and you won't have an issue. They like living underneath flooring if it's peeling up or there's a gap. Harmless, though.

Termites, bedbugs and roaches need an exterminator. But don't forget the other exterminators - daddy long leg spiders eat other spiders. Leave them be.

former player

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Re: House Pests/Bugs - Exterminator or DIY?
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2018, 03:02:05 PM »
Anna is right about ants living in the garden.  See if you can follow the ants back to where they are getting in the house, then scout around for the entrance to their underground nest.  Then pour a kettle of boiling water into the nest.  End of ants.   If you keep food in sealed containers and clean up after using the kitchen they will not be back.

Earwigs are harmless.  As long as there is no damp in or under your house to attract them (and damp would be much more of a worry than earwigs) then stopping up any holes or gaps through which they can get in is the way to go.  Expanding insulating foam is great for sealing up those awkward little bits for which there is no good other solution.

Cassie

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Re: House Pests/Bugs - Exterminator or DIY?
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2018, 05:26:11 PM »
My husband would spray the outside around the house twice a year. I use those little ant houses.

lefty

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Re: House Pests/Bugs - Exterminator or DIY?
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2018, 10:14:17 PM »
This is excellent, going medieval on these pests. Awesome!!

Thanks.

Must_Stash_NM

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Re: House Pests/Bugs - Exterminator or DIY?
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2018, 08:18:53 PM »
Re:  exterminator vs DIY:
We were paying $85 for an exterminator to come by once every two months. 
Then I went to Lowe's and found a decent quality sprayer for around $30 and a gallon of "home defense" for about $12.
Now I spend about 10 -15 minutes every month or two spraying around the house perimeter; seems to be just as effective as the pro.
This was one of the easier DIY wins for us!

Not There Yet

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Re: House Pests/Bugs - Exterminator or DIY?
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2018, 01:02:14 PM »
No harm in trying boric acid.  It's completely non-toxic and CHEAP.  You should be able to get it at a hardware store.  Just strategically place it near cracks where you believe the rodents travel.

Just a heads up - boric acid isn't completely non-toxic.  Keep it away from children and pets, and wash your hands after handling it.  http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/boricgen.html

YttriumNitrate

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Re: House Pests/Bugs - Exterminator or DIY?
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2018, 03:12:00 PM »
Re:  exterminator vs DIY:
We were paying $85 for an exterminator to come by once every two months. 
Then I went to Lowe's and found a decent quality sprayer for around $30 and a gallon of "home defense" for about $12.
Now I spend about 10 -15 minutes every month or two spraying around the house perimeter; seems to be just as effective as the pro.
This was one of the easier DIY wins for us!
Depending on how much you use, it may be worthwhile to mix your own "Home Defense." For $45 you can make about 125 gallons of the stuff.

Bifen:
https://www.ebay.com/i/282957686678?chn=ps

cypermethrin:
https://www.solutionsstores.com/martins-viper-insecticide-concentrate?CAWELAID=120308880000000271&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIkISd8MbI3wIVDNvACh2SRgnDEAkYASABEgJELvD_BwE



lefty

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Re: House Pests/Bugs - Exterminator or DIY?
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2018, 04:46:14 PM »
Dang!!!!

Must_Stash_NM

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Re: House Pests/Bugs - Exterminator or DIY?
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2018, 08:46:21 PM »
Cool, now that's DIY!
At our usage that would be like a 60 year supply of "home defense" for us.